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Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: (Heart) breaking news – I am older than this paper

 

jeff columnNOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Say it ain’t so!
Short of a loved one dying or getting sick, it doesn’t get much worse to hear news like this.
It was such a surprise – a depressing surprise.
I noticed that last week’s Reporter’s front page said Volume LV No. 1 on it. Hmmm. No. 1?
The genius reporter in me figured out that it must mean the paper may have celebrated a birthday.
So I used all of my investigative skills and resources (I asked around in the office) and publisher Amy Richards informed me that indeed the Reporter is now in its 55th year and just turned 54.
Upon deeper and more thorough investigation (Amy gave me a couple of special sections from 2005 and 2010 to look over) I discovered that the first Reporter came out March 16, 1960.
NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
I was born in December, 1959.
That means I’m older than this newspaper.
I’m older than a newspaper that some people have saidpage-3-2-col-with-jvcolA look at the cover of the first Reporter on March 16, 1960. The paper is heading into its 55th year but it is still a few months younger than its current editor. Photo by Jeff Vorva. “has been around a long time’’ and some people have said, gulp, “has been around forever.”
I knew I was older than some high schools.
I knew I was older than a handful of towns.
But older than a newspaper that’s “been around forever’’ is a true shock to my system.
There were two other times in my professional life when the ol’ time-is-speeding-by-too-fast realization hit me.
The first time was when I covered a high school softball game and asked the coach for a roster. This particular roster happened to have the birthdates of all the players on it. They were all born after I graduated high school.
The second time came when Lincoln-Way football coach Rob Glielmi retired in 2007. This is a coach who won an Illinois High School Association Class 6A state championship in 1997 and played football at Illinois.
I remember him for messing up his name when he was a kid.
I was just starting my newspaper career as a sportswriter in the late 1970s and, to my knowledge, might have been the first person whose name I botched up in the paper. Hey, the Internet wasn’t around to double check and I thought it was “Gliemi.’’
Anyway, back then he was a young defensive player for Lincoln-Way and I’m sure more than one dopey writer forgot to drop that second L into his name.
Now I find out I am older than a long established newspaper.
Wow.
Most papers I worked for were born around the time my grandfathers, great grandfathers, not-so-great grandfathers and great, great grandfathers were walking the earth.
Oh, well. Time to put away the self-pity and to try to make issue Volume LV No. 2 – and future issues – of the Reporter as compelling and fun as we can around here.
Happy birthday, Reporter, and may we all live on for many, many years.

Wisdom from the past
The guy who first ran the Reporter, Edward E. Roelofs, wrote his Publisher’s Statement of Policy 54 years ago about his brand-spankin’ new paper.
Among his comments were: “The publisher and his staff present it with hope that you, the reader, will find it meets for needs for an unbiased, scrupulously accurate, friendly and complete newspaper covering local people, organizations and events.”
He also said: “We want you to LIKE our paper – and to be proud it is circulated in your area.’’
Those thoughts ring true for us today.